As the rain (finally) let up, I settled into a table at Esperanto. The Brazilian-South American Bistro rests on the edge of the East Village and Alphabet City. Bright table clothes and slightly awkward service set the stage. Brunch is cheap. $9.99 will get you a cocktail (Mimosa, Screw Driver or Bloody Mary) and a main dish. We weren't really hungry yet, so we decided to get one plate and a few drinks.
Behold the Quesadilla del Mar: Tomato and Monterey cheese, avocado and "shrimps," with little pots of black beans and subtle chipotle salsa. The crispy grilled tortilla shells were a bit oily, but full of guilty pleasure after a night of drinking, and the horseradish textured Bloody Mary. Between nibbles, a man loaded an elderly Rottweiler into a van. A girl wrapped in cargo mini and safety pins jerked at her overdyed hair as she dialed on the payphone: attached to our outdoor table. The experience is appropriately East Village. From the dish I enjoyed and the looks of other plates, it's a spot worth exploring further. Live music and drink specials are among the many desirable traits.